How did you become a life coach?
I have been into learning self-help for my own personal development for years. I had a successful career as a cancer research scientist in the biopharmaceutical industry until six years ago.
I developed a form of narcolepsy that [doctors] eventually diagnosed as an underlying symptom of multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis put me out of work, and I couldn’t safely drive any distances. I went into a deep depression, because my identity had been rooted in my career with helping people. About a year after my diagnosis and job loss, I sought out a life coach and began reading self-help books, as well as books on cognitive behavioural therapy and neuro-linguistic programming. My coach helped me to realize that my thoughts were creating my emotions. These emotions were leading to my inaction and my not getting better. This transformed my life.
Within two years, I was back to being productive and happy. I was off all medications for my MS, and my disease had stabilized. I realized that my beliefs in and strong value of helping people was in me, not in the career I had. That was when I decided that I wanted to become a life coach myself and help other women transform their lives. I went back to school and became a life coach. I still get coached myself in life, business, entrepreneurship, and sales.
In your experience, what holds female entrepreneurs back?
Fear and self-doubt. I see so many women that get stuck in the learning phase of growing a business. They feel like they are taking a lot of action by constantly learning and creating content. “I need to have the perfect website, marketing plan, business plan,” etc. They create tons of content, take courses, or stay busy with other tasks. They think they are making progress, but they aren’t making any sales or growing their business. The fear of rejection or failure drives their need for perfection and their need to know everything before they get out there and sell themselves. Self-doubt about their ability to succeed as an entrepreneur can be deeply rooted and affect every aspect of their business. When you are an entrepreneur, you need to be confident and try new strategies until you find what works. Self-doubt will cause action paralysis.
What are some of the challenges faced by women that you can help with?
I focus on the mental wellness of the female entrepreneur. My coaching method teaches that our circumstances are neutral. They are facts. Our thoughts and interpretations of the circumstances cause emotions. These emotions then drive our actions, or lack thereof. And the actions lead to results – good or bad.
I can help women using a model that will help them to understand the thoughts and emotions they have regarding their businesses. We can then evaluate the actions and results that are being driven by the thoughts. If they are not getting the results they want, we can work together to uncover the thoughts they need to believe in order to work towards the results they want. We will partner to build goals and action plans towards the results, to make their businesses thrive. The beauty of coaching with me, or any good life coach, is that I see the women I work with as the successful entrepreneur they want to be now – fully believing they are capable and possess all the resources to achieve any goal and be successful.
What can a client expect when they begin working with you?
Transformation. From the very first session, they will experience a shift in perspective. They begin to see the possibilities and feel the trust and comfort of being with someone that fully believes in their potential with no judgement or reservation. It is life-changing and it opens the mind to fully envision infinite possibility for the future.
Jennifer M. Williams | Editor-in-Chief